Two months ago I did the thing that nobody expected me to do. I am 32 years old. Father of a 1 year old girl, I have a house with a mortgage and a job which payed well. And I quit. It was bound to happen sooner of later. I worked at the same company for 8 years. Doing different things every 1,5 years. I went from being a webdeveloper, support manager, technical manager to product manager and finally an app developer. I have tried a lot of things and found out what I really want in a job. And I wasn’t able to get that anymore from the place I worked. So the decision was easy. I decided within that weekend.
I had a great time working at the company. I learned tons, made a lot of friends and got a lot of support trying out new things. But being part of a projectteam wasn’t going to cut it anymore. My dreams and ambitions are bigger. We grew apart.
I explained this all to my wife and luckily she was very supportive. People around me where shocked. By quitting my job I also resigned my right on government support. If I had been fired instead of quitting the government would have paid me a salary for the next couple of years. Now I get nothing. People call me brave other people call me stupid, some call me both. I have to take care of my people and the economy in Europe is not exactly blooming right now. A lot of people ask if I have found another job or some contract work and are amazed when I tell them I don’t have any. Normally people don’t quit without have some sort of guarantee for work.
I’m excited. And scared. I am on my own. I know my goal. I want to work in a company like Valve, Mojang, Khan Academy, Fog Creek or Github. Places with a hacker culture (or so it seems). Small teams of likeminded people working hard, playing hard to achieve a goal. Unfortunately these companies are all out of reach. I don’t know if i’am good enough to work at any of those companies. But anyway I won’t be able to relocate. My wife is a highschool teacher. See lectures Dutch. And therefore she is bounded to the Netherlands. Not that I regret that, I like living where I live. Having my parents and family close. Above all my family comes first.
Instead of grieving about the fact that I won’t be able to work at one of these companies, I decided to try and build my own. We have some savings that will last us around 4-5 months. We have a sideproject (jufmelis.nl a site I run with my wife for people studying Dutch ) which will grant us another 3-4 months. My plan is to build some low-maintenance projects to generate an extra income. Do contract work as a webdeveloper and appdeveloper and try to build a company from there. The goal is that in 2 years time my small company has grown to a small team, hacking away with nice people in a nice office. Making quality stuff for people. Put a smile on people’s faces when they use our products.
Today is the first of my unemployment. I have given myself 4 months to prove that this plan can work. I truly believe that it can. To be successful I have to get out of my comfort zone. It will be hard, I will hit walls, I will fail at things but hopefully I can make this work. Wish me luck!